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Kafka’s Dog

P.N. Furbank

13 November 1997
The Treasure Chest 
by Johann Peter Hebel, translated by John Hibberd.
Libris/Penguin, 175 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 14 044639 7
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... phrase and we would almost like to leap to our feet, if we did not feel the weight of centuries upon us. I suspect that, among the stories that Kafka or his Dog had in mind, were those of JohannPeterHebel (1760-1826). At all events, Kafka called Hebel’s ‘Unexpected Reunion’ the ‘most wonderful story in the world’, and the judgment does not strike one as absurd. Hebel’s stories, or ...

The German Ocean

D.J. Enright: Suffolk Blues

17 September 1998
The Rings of Saturn 
by W.G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hulse.
Harvill, 296 pp., £15.99, June 1998, 1 86046 398 3
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... in the museum of that same hospital. He failed to find it, or the museum, and it turned out that the skull had subsequently been buried with the rest of Browne’s body in the Norwich church of St Peter Mancroft. There follows a disquisition on the life and work of Sir Thomas, a man close to Sebald’s heart, and his nearest precursor in cast of mind, lightly (if arcanely) learned and enormously ...
20 April 1989
Martin Heidegger: Unterwegs zu seiner Biographie 
by Hugo Ott.
Campus Verlag, 355 pp., DM 48, December 1988, 3 593 34035 6
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... clear that, but for an asthmatic heart condition, Heidegger would have taken Holy Orders. Heidegger at all times emphasised his spiritual kinship with fellow Swabians like Hegel, Hölderlin and JohannPeterHebel (a writer of enchanting Alemannic folk-tales). He saw himself as a contributor to this tribal lineage, and associated his writings with it; his biographer reports on this powerful rural ...

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